Because of the previous war, Kabucki-cho was devastated, and the owner abandoned his lingerie pub, "Pallion," and opened "New Papillion" in Akihabara. During the war, Tsubomi, and her colleagues Anne and Shizuku lost their memories, and they began new lives in Akihabara.
On the other hand, the Susano, aliens who were invading the Earth, appeared. They turned a UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal) into a monster and make it raid on Akihabara. Rama the cat made Tsubomi and her buddies retrieve their memories, and let them fight against the monster as Lingerie Soldiers.
I don't know what possessed me to watch this anime but I did.
Okay some backstory:
I was perusing Hulu looking for something hilariously bad to watch. After some time I cam across Papillon Rose. This anime presented itself as a raunchy parody of a typical magical girl anime which, to me, looked like something interesting and at a short 7 episodes too. The first episode came up and it was hilariously raunchy to an unbelievable extent. I loved it so I move onto the next episode and... It was completely different. It turns out that first episode was
an OVA from some time earlier that never finished.
Now onto the Papillon Rose TV series:
Everything that was hilariously bad in the OVA is missing here. All the sexually explicit hilarity like Rose's vibrator is gone. The incredibly raunchy and unbecoming dialogue is also gone. But the biggest crime is that the story builds off of the unfinished OVA. The series references events you never saw or knew of leading to mild confusion on the viewer's end. The art was a step above the OVA which is okay and it further shows that this is completely different. The music is forgettable with it's generic poppy tunes and cheerful feeling. The characters are paper thin and I'm not talking about the "tits on a stick" paper thin, I mean they are the most typical carbon cutouts of characters from every magical girl anime out there. There is absolutely not development except for the "Everything will be okay" mentality.
Final Notes: I would only recommend the original OVA, this was just so bad it's bad. Ultimately it was boring because it lacked the humor of the OVA which was the only thing to the original's advantage. Save yourself the 6 episodes of boredom and skip this anime.
Given the voracity of the backlash against the "not-so-bad" rating that Papillon Rose received upon initial viewing by a fellow reviewer, I am certain that many readers eagerly anticipate a reviewer that, upon broader viewing (or even being of dissimilar gender from the original critic), will vindicate their pristine opinion of this title. Unfortunately you, the reader, are stuck with me. While I don't think poorly of this title by any stretch of the imagination, the buzz pervading Papillon Rose is plainly more hype than substance.
So where does the hype begin you ask? Right off the bat. From the very beginning of episode one this
title more or less pronounces itself to be of the cookie-cutter Shonen Jump variety, and only a somewhat above average one at that. The character for which the show is named, Papillon Rose, is quickly introduced, and even before the end of the first episode the viewer is completely aware of the ultimate direction of the plot: Avatar The Last Airbender will someday become the strongest ninja of his village and receive the highly coveted title of Hokage. But knowing the end of the plotline isn't as much of a killjoy as one would expect. It is the ride that counts after all. However, in the case of Papillon Rose the ride is tantamount to that of an old, wooden roller coaster: sometimes thrilling and often nostalgic, yet still quite a bit rickety and easily outdone in terms of excitement and quality.sometimes thrilling and often nostalgic, yet still quite a bit rickety and easily outdone in terms of excitement and quality.
This is a review of the DVD version of the “Papillon Rose” TV series released by Maiden Japan in 2010. It was viewed with English subtitles. Note that the same DVD also includes the OVA “Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose" which I have separately reviewed previously.
"Papillon Rose" is intended to be a comedic parody of magical girl series such as “Sailor Moon” and “Cutie Honey” with some ecchi content. The show includes some sci-fi and magic elements.
The age rating on the DVD packaging is listed as MA (so 17 and up). However, this rating primarily applies to the OVA episode , and the content
of the TV series is vastly tamer by comparison. The outfits worn by the lingerie soldiers are fairly skimpy. There are several combat scenes and some blood is shown, but most of the fights are relatively tame with no deaths. As a result, the TV series is more on par with PG or PG-13 content and would be suitable for young teens.
Brief history of Papillon Rose:
When watching or reviewing this title, it is important realize that the idea for “Papillon Rose” originated as a joke on a website. Growing fan interest in the title eventually led to the creation of the OVA in 2003, and then a TV series in 2006. There are no official novels or manga. A set of PVC figures were released by Milestone in 2007. The two versions correspond to the OVA and TV series
The TV series spans 6 episodes. While the original OVA was a raunchy send-up of the magical girl style, the TV series alters the formula, and it ends up making several mistakes in the process.
First, it guts the series of nearly all of the ecchi aspects of the original OVA besides the costumes worn by the lingerie soldiers. The TV series tries to make up for this by adding a bit more story content, but it winds up playing things too safe, and the result is a show that is terribly unfunny. For a show that is supposed to be a comedic parody, it utterly fails to be one.
Second, it skips ahead to a future time roughly one year after the events shown in the original OVA, and tries to bridge the gap in between through a few flashbacks that occur during the series. Unfortunately, this doesn't really do justice to the original OVA which left several loose ends, and leaves viewers to wonder why the creators opted to abandon the original OVA story line. Among the changes, the lingerie club has been converted to a maid cafe called New Papillon, and it appears to be managed by the same person that managed the former lingerie club. However, no explanation is ever provided for its conversion. Tsubomi works there, while the fellow lingerie fighters start out as customers before joining the staff. Unfortunately, the new story resorts to using a couple of the most over-used tropes imaginable. The lingerie soldiers have amnesia. Meanwhile, one of the other characters turns out to be the identical twin of a character from the OVA.
Furthermore, the raunchy yet ruthless enemies of the OVA are replaced by a new set of dull and inept alien sisters. They have arrived to attack earth, yet forgot to bring any weapons (or brains for that matter). As a result, they must resort to activating or creating hybrid UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal) creatures to do their bidding. The hybrids are supposed to be funny, but the humor fails terribly for the western audience. Some of these might be more funny for Japanese viewers that understand some of the cultural references. In the end, the reason behind the aliens attack on Earth turns out to be rather inane.
It's hard to believe that the 6-part series can actually have less interesting characters than those in the OVA, yet somehow the creators managed to pull that off. While Tsubomi is given a bit more background, the other lingerie fighters aren't given much extra detail. Anne's phone conversations suggest that she sleeps around, but none of that factors into the story. Shizuku is shown to be studious, and her past relationship to Tsubomi or Anne is left unexplored. Considering there were 6 episodes to work with, I expected to see a lot more background provided for them. Part of the problem is that the show opted to give them amnesia (how they contracted it is never explained), and it ends up spending way too much time in the first two episodes to deal with that. Meanwhile, the cat, Rama, has no real purpose here beyond helping to cure the amnesia.
The villains are overly bland, and they aren't really differentiated very well. A couple of other characters, like the mysterious men in black, turn out be more interesting than the main villains or the lingerie soldiers, but they have limited screen time. Overall, the characters in "Papillon Rose" seem rather generic and uninteresting. If not for their Lingerie outfits, the main heroines would be completely forgettable and indistinguishable from countless other anime characters.
Art / Animation: 6/10
The character art in "Papillon Rose" is a significant improvement over the OVA, though it's the only thing that is better. The characters looks are more modern than the OVA version. The animation is generally better too, but there are a few points in various episodes where the motion didn't seem as smooth. There were even a few spots in a couple episodes where the art seemed to revert to the older OVA style, possibly indicating that those scenes leveraged previously generated art from an unreleased OVA version.
Unfortunately, the transformation sequences in the TV series are generally worse than the OVA. The TV Series seems to re-use part of the Papillon Rose transformation scene from the OVA, but it censors it with extra roses. Meanwhile, the transformation scenes for Papillon Lily and Papillon Margaret are just static imges that appear to be censored with glowing white. Given the simplistic transformation imagery, the reason for the white censoring is unclear since they probably could have just shown Anne and Shizuku in their regular clothes and then their Lingerie outfits in a subsequent image instead.
Sound / Voice: 1/10
I'm usually rather forgiving on background music, and voice work, but the audio on this DVD is so poor that I have to give it a low rating. For example, there are some spots where ominous background music is included for a few seconds, but then it cuts out for a few seconds before they play it again. It's obvious that they simply copied a background music sample from somewhere and then dubbed it in over and over as opposed to creating custom music to fit the scene. In other spots, the voice for Shizuku/Papillon Margaret is completely missing. You can see her mouth moving, but the audio track is completely silent. Since English audio tracks aren't even included on the DVD, the poor quality of the original audio track is even apparent to someone not fluent in Japanese.
I rewatched this show for this review, and it was very hard to force myself to sit through it both times. The "Papillon Rose" TV series opted to strip out most of the ecchi content and juvenile humor found in the OVA, and tried to replace it with more story elements, but the result is boring and uninteresting. The attempts at humor fail badly, and its characters are uninspired and forgettable.
Final verdict: 3/10
Ultimately, the 6 episodes of the "Papillon Rose" TV series end up as nearly unwatchable dreck that never comes close to the zany yet watchable OVA. In fact, it seems like they should have just stuck with the original OVA formula and made more episodes of that instead. I originally rated this as a 4, but after rewatching it, I have reduced that to a 3 which still feels a bit generous. If you're interested in seeing Papillon Rose, just watch the OVA and don't bother with the 6 TV episodes.